2020 was going to be Alain de Royer Dupre’s final season of a career that has spanned over five decades and that has produced outstanding champions like Darshaan, Dalakhani, Zarkava, Pride, Vazirabad plus countless others.
However, well before Covid-19, he was already asked to stay on one more year and after a beginning of the season that was all but productive, the Chantilly-based handler is only too happy to continue, especially since he has a very nice bunch of promising three-year-olds in his yard.
“I have reduced the number of horses in training considerably, but I have quite a number of three-year-olds, which needed some time but that are now showing some real potential,” he explains. “In fact, for the first time in my entire career, I have entered a horse in the Arc before it had its first run, which I honestly believe I have never done before.”
The horse in question is the three-year-old filly Valia, owned by HH Aga Khan, who is currently unbeaten. She is supposed to run in Deauville during the month of August, but Royer Dupré warns: “I don’t think I will be having too many runners at Deauville, as a lot will depend on the ground. We have had a lot of racing there already and the people who are looking after the track are doing the best they can, but I will make my decisions closer to each race.”
While he is concerned about the ground, a number of his horses are pencilled in for the meeting and here he tells us Liz Price of attheraces.com who to look out for during the month of August on Sky Sports Racing.